Smart TVs are much more than normal TVs. In the sense that, they have an operating system and added functionality. This added functionality is what made smart TVs popular.
In addition to that, smart TVs are one of the several devices that belong to the smart devices family. Integrate into your smart home and you add more functionality and complexity to your smart home.
But, are smart TVs worth it? Here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of smart TVs.
Difference Between Smart TV And Normal TV
There are two differences between a smart TV and a normal TV.
The first is the software.
Smart TVs have software that is loaded with a lot of functionality and apps. Normal TVs don’t have this kind of software found in smart TVs. Because of that smart TVs allow you to stream music, videos, movies view photos etc.
A smart TV is a cross between a computer and a TV. Just like you can download software onto a computer. You can also download software or apps onto a smart TV. The software or operating systems on smart TVs can be updated.
This gives it more functionality and security. Developers can also create applications for it where you can download them through the app store. Normal TVs don’t even have the option of an app store. Normal TVs are basic in terms of plug and play.
The software is very basic and there is no extra functionality. The only one that comes into mind aside from cable for TV stations is the HDMI cable.
The second is internet connectivity.
Because smart TVs have operating systems you can easily connect to the internet. Normal or traditional TVs can’t connect to the internet.
This takes the benefits and functionality to another level far above that of normal TVs. You can stream movies and music, share photos between your smartphone, computer and smart TV and you can browse the internet.
This also allows you to get rid of cable since you can now watch all your movies thanks to the internet. And even do some more.
To put it simply, smart TVs have operating software that comes loaded with a lot of functionality than that of a normal or traditional TV. Plus, you can connect to the internet which isn’t possible for a traditional TV.
Pros Of Owning A Smart TV
For a TV to have an operating system and able to connect to the internet. You can already see the advantages of a smart TV. Here are a few advantages of owning a smart TV.
Your Entertainment Levels Up
Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV etc. are apps that allow you to stream and watch movies for a fee. This gives you a large library of movies which you can watch.
You can also stream your favourite songs and listen to your favourite radio stations. All these which are not possible for a normal TV. You can also share media between your smartphone, computer and smart TV.
Developers have also made games that can be played on your smart TV. Although not as sophisticated as the ones found on mobile, console or PC. They are still fun to play.
Has Access To Apps Not Available On Normal TVs
An operating system means there will apps for it. And these apps can be downloaded through the app store on the smart TV.
You can now do social media networking by logging into your Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video are examples of apps that allow you to stream movies. The PlayStation Now app allows you to play PS3 games on your TV.
Spotify allows you to stream your favourite music. There are so many apps that have different uses. And depending on the app you can either improve your TV experience or worsen it. Most smart TVs come pre-loaded with apps out of the box.
Easy To Set-up
On the contrary, smart TVs are easy to set-up. They just work like traditional TVs except that they have operating systems. And since you already use smartphones and a PC.
You will be familiar with the operating system of a smart TV. They are much simpler and easier to understand than smartphone and PC OS. All you need to do is to set it up a power supply and internet connection.
Smart Home Automation Integration
Smart TVs can be integrated into the smart home network flawlessly. They work well with voice assistants and other smart devices.
Smart TVs have a voice search function which you can issue commands and find what you are looking for. You can also issue commands to your Smart TV to turn on or off the lights, watch security footage, control the thermostat etc.
Once you have integrated the smart TV into your smart TV. It can serve as a control centre for a lot of smart devices. Because it has the operating system to act as such.
Cons Of Owning A Smart TV
Technology is not perfect. Even with all the benefits smart TVs provide. There are bound to be some disadvantages.
Smart TVs cost more than traditional TVs. Because of their operating system which gives it more functionality. The high-end smart TVs easily costs above a thousand dollars.
For example, most 4K smart TVs that are 40 – 60 inches in screen size cost between USD1000-3000. And this depends on the brand. This is not to say there aren’t any affordable smart TVs available.
It’s just that the average smart TV is going to cost more than a normal TV. One way around this is by purchasing a normal TV and a Roku smart box.
This will give it similar capabilities to that of a smart TV. An affordable method if you like to stream movies.
Security and Reliability Issues
Devices that are connected to the internet and have software will always have security and reliability issues. And the smart TV is not exempted from the problem. Malicious hackers can get access to your smart TV and compromise your security and safety.
They can access your security footage, spy, on you through your smart TV and listen to your conversations. And the most disturbing part? All this can be down without your slightest knowledge.
If your smart TV is integrated into your smart home then it becomes easier to steal your personal and financial information. Moreover, if smart TVs stop rolling out updates. Your smart TV becomes more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Aside from hackers, you might not be safe from companies who made smart TVs. Samsung, LG, Amazon and Google are all guilty of this. If you are concerned about your privacy and security above anything else. Then it is best to avoid smart devices.
Will A Smart TV Work Without An Internet Connection?
Yes. A smart TV is a TV before being smart. So even if you do not have an internet connection your smart TV will work fine. But, to make use of its features and functionality to the fullest.
It is best to have an internet connection. You can still connect speakers, cable, DVD players, consoles and a laptop through the HDMI port.
You can think of it this way. Your smartphone has the basic features and functionality of a mobile phone. So even without an internet connection. You can still send and receive text and calls.
But, you won’t be able to use some of the apps. Since most apps require an internet connection. It is the same thing with smart TVs. Even without an internet connection, it still functions as a normal TV.
Are Smart TVs Worth it?
Yes, Smart TVs are totally worth it. Because they have more features and functionality than that of normal TVs. Plus, normal TVs are slowly going out of existence. If you already have a smart home.
You can add it to your network of smart devices. Plus, it can act as a control centre for your smart devices. If you are so concerned about security and privacy issues. The best course of action is to disconnect it from the internet and use it as a normal TV.
That way it reduces the chances of getting hacked to almost zero. Moreover, being able to stream videos and music takes entertainment to a whole other level.
If you plan on getting a smart TV. We have a list of the best smart TVs you can get along with other smart home devices.